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Penny And Rio

Penny And Rio

4.5 13
by Jennifer Swanson

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Penny and Rio are two dogs who are complete opposites. Penny is curious and always on the go, while Rio prefers a good nap. At their new house, Penny discovers that their backyard is the meeting place for several different animals. Penny doesn't know why a cat, a groundhog, a squirrel, and an owl could possibly be meeting, but she knows she has to find out. She comes


Penny and Rio are two dogs who are complete opposites. Penny is curious and always on the go, while Rio prefers a good nap. At their new house, Penny discovers that their backyard is the meeting place for several different animals. Penny doesn't know why a cat, a groundhog, a squirrel, and an owl could possibly be meeting, but she knows she has to find out. She comes up with an ingenious plan for spying on them and discovers their plot. She has to stop them - but can she get her sister dog, Rio, to help her or will Rio decide that sleep is more important?
Follow along as these two pet detectives, Penny and Rio solve the first of many cases in Penny and Rio: The Mysterious Backyard Meeting.

Editorial Reviews

Dove Worldview
Go on this first adventure with Penny and Rio. This charming story will become a favorite to any child, especially those with pets. With wonderfully illustrated pictures of the duo's adventure, it is a great book to encourage reading. Children will enjoy following this mystery as the two dogs discover the true reason for the meeting. Dove awards the Dove "Family-Approved" Seal for all ages to this wonderful book.
Midwest Book Review
Penny & Rio: The Mysterious Backyard Meeting is a softcover children's book featuring two canine friends who are diametric opposites. Penny is curious and adventurous, while her sister Rio likes to sleep most of the day. When Penny discovers that a cat, a groundhog, a squirrel, and an owl are using her backyard as a meeting place, she is determined to learn more about what is going on - while Rio is convinced that sleep is more important. The narrative story is detailed enough to make Penny & Rio ideal for young people who are almost ready to graduate to chapter books, and an important underlying theme - that one should be responsible for one's current pets and not abandon them to the city pound for a new pet - is also present in the cat's tale. Highly recommended, especially for young dog lovers.

Product Details

Mirror Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
0.11(w) x 8.50(h) x 5.50(d)
Age Range:
5 - 12 Years

Customer Reviews

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Penny And Rio 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
AuthorReviewerGeri More than 1 year ago
Jennifer Swanson's extraordinary children's story is a sweet tale about two dogs, an owl, a groundhog, and a cat. Penny and Rio are two dogs who are complete opposites, with unique personalities. Penny is curious, noisy, and a great detective. Her sister Rio on the other hand, is quite content to be lazy, and sleep the day away. Penny attempts to persuade Rio to help unravel the mystery in their backyard, which Penny has been observing, and investigating. Penny becomes rambunctious to begin research on the four intruders, invading Penny and Rio's territory in the dark of night. As the adventure begins, we are introduced to the actions of Buster, Shadow, Nutty and Feathers. They are determined to invade the house next door, while Penny comes up with her own ingenious plan as she continues to spy, during Rio's naps. Does Penny succeed to stop the critter invasion, without her sister's help? Why was the neighbor's house a target for the intruders? What information did we find out during the peculiar evening gatherings? Penny steals the show with her astounding ability, determination, and courage, despite getting punished for her actions. I highly recommend this cute children's book for young readers, for dog lovers, and everyone who's still young at heart. The moral of the story is educational, the illustrations are colorful, and the thrills make you laugh. The reader will learn about unexpected circumstances, and how we should love and respect our pets through a journey of acceptance. "PENNY & RIO: The Mysterious Backyard Meeting" is as fun-loving as LOOK WHO'S TALKING NOW, and as entertaining as Walt Disney's AIR BUDDIES.
dmcdine More than 1 year ago
Not in her nature to have a dog day afternoon, dog Penny finds herself on an adventure in her new backyard attempting to discover the purpose behind the peculiar nighttime meetings between several different animals. Unsuccessful in coaxing her sister dog Rio to assist in uncovering the truth behind the gatherings, Penny remains determined to prove the other animals are up to no good. Unexpected circumstances arise and along the way Penny learns not to judge a book by its cover and not to fall into prejudgment of someone's actions. Children's author, Jennifer Swanson takes the reader on the journey of acceptance of others in an endearing nature without preaching. Coupled with Rosita Schandy and Neal Wooten's vibrant illustrations and the talented storytelling of Jennifer Swanson it will have the reader cheering out loud time and time again as the adventures of Penny & Rio are read many times over. There is no wonder Penny & Rio - The Mysterious Backyard Meeting is an award winning children's book bestowed by 2009 Mom's Choice Silver Award, 2008 Florida Writer's Association Royal Palm Literary Awards, and The Dove Foundation's "Family Approved" Seal.
K_Vetrano More than 1 year ago
My family really enjoyed this delightful story of Penny & Rio. We are huge animals lovers so of course we were intersted in reading this sweet book. Both of my children enjoyed the story. It was a bit "young" for my 'tween but she still thought it was cute. My 9 year old son really enjoyed it a lot. I'd say this is best for children in first to about third grade. If you love animals and fun stories then you will enjoy this book.
readerbynight More than 1 year ago
An award-winning debut adventure series for young children, this book not only gives the child a pair of unlikely investigators, but delivers a message as well. Much like a chapter book with very short chapters, it can be read to younger children, or used as an early reader. Jennifer Swanson is really onto something with this mystery series. The two investigators, Penny and Rio, are two dogs with different personalities. When Penny discovers a mystery in their new backyard, she wants to get to the bottom of it, fast. But Rio doesn't want to bother, saying it's not their business. When Penny sees a cat and an owl sitting and talking together she knows that this is not quite right. Birds and cats shouldn't be together, there has to be something more to it. And what about the other animals who seem to be involved, too? Penny finds herself a hiding place where she can keep an eye on what is happening. She is careful because she has already been in trouble over the barking she did and had to sleep in the garage. Penny doesn't give up trying to solve the mystery, though. When she overhears the plot, or part of it, she tries to talk to Fifi, the dog next door, to warn her about the animals' plans, but Fifi doesn't believe her. This is an excellent book for children Smaller than a regular chapter book, an early chapter book, the story has enough laughs, enough mystery, enough investigating to keep their interest, illustrations on almost every page, and a surprise ending, all in one lively little book. I know my grandchildren will be looking for the next one! Dog lovers especially should enjoy the antics of Penny and Rio, and the other animals. Illustrated by Rosita Schandy and Neal Wooten. Recommended for children, parents and grandparents; also pre-school, kindergarten and early school.
IsabellaRenae More than 1 year ago
Penny & Rio: The Mysterious Backyard Meeting By Jennifer Swanson Penny & Rio move to a new home! Eager to check out her new back yard, Penny discovers an Owl and a cat talking to each other. Rio, who is completely content lying on the porch and enjoying the sun, tells her to stop being so curious and ignore the "meeting" she claims the two animals are having. Penny is just sure the animals are up to something. She makes a hide out and spies on their meeting, uncovering a plot to break into the neighbors' house. Fearful that her house will be next she decides to foil the plan! When the neighbors dog Fifi doesn't believe Penny she takes matters into her own hands! She is not able to do so alone however, and Rio is enlisted to help! This cute, funny story is a tale of team work and co-operation to help a friend, only the friend is not who you think it is! Children of all ages will love this story of two sister dogs and their adventure next door! This book was magnetizing, after I got through the first chapter. The story picked up and started to draw me into the book during the second chapter. It made me wonder what was really taking place in the animals' scheme. The animals' grouping together in a meeting was entertaining. I wondered at what most dogs and other animals think about during their day. Are they interested in the happening just like Penny and Rio? Penny & Rio is a wonderful, interesting read for any reader ages 8 - 12.
ScullyLovePromo More than 1 year ago
Written by Jennifer Swanson Illustrated by Rosita Schandy & Neal Wooten 3.0 stars Being a longtime dog lover, I couldn't helped but be charmed by the premise of the 2008 children's book, Penny & Rio: The Mysterious Backyard Meeting, which is a story based on the real life lovable dogs - of the same names - once owned by author Jennifer Swanson. Penny is adventurous, naturally curious and loves to explore and dig in the dirt, while her sister Rio prefers to sunbathe on the deck of her master's home and spends a lot of time sleeping. One evening Penny watches animals convening in her backyard and becomes convinced that they are conducting a covert meeting, which makes her determined to find out what's going on. For a couple of nights, Penny wakes her owner to let it be known that she needs to go outside and the minute the door is opened, she races out into the night! It doesn't take her owner long to realize what she's up to, and before she knows it, Penny is banished to the garage so that everyone can have a good night's sleep. Not long after, Penny's owner installs a doggie door which is just the thing Penny needs to keep an eye on those dubious critters; namely, Buster the cat, Feathers the owl, Shadow the groundhog, and Nutty the squirrel. Penny uncovers the neighborhood animals' plan to break into French Poodle Fifi's house to retrieve a toy belonging to Buster the cat and decides to take matters into her own paws and warn Fifi of the impending intrusion. Throughout all the commotion Rio acts disinterested in what Penny's discovered, and continues to prefer to rest. Penny soon figures out a way to thwart Buster's plan, only to discover that things are not always as they seem. Penny & Rio: The Mysterious Backyard Meeting is a sweet, enjoyable tale that chapter book readers and dog lovers alike will savor and Rosita Schandy and Neal Wooten's cute and colorful illustrations will surely delight everyone who reads Jennifer Swanson's Mom's Choice Award winning book. Be sure to look for more adventures of the crime-fighting doggie duo in Penny & Rio: The Locked Doghouse Mystery! www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx1ipMQdBhw
JosieKramer More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful children's book. It teaches the importance of team work, never giving up, and family. In a culture where kids try things once and then move on to the next thing, this book stresses the importance of perseverance. There is a lot of action and suspense in this book as you wait for three dogs and a mouse to gain access to an abandoned dog house to retrieve a "treasure". I read this book to an audience of two 3-year-olds who had positive comments to say throughout the book. It was cute watching their faces as they wondered if the dogs and mouse were going to finally get into the doghouse. And each time they didn't, they would scream "Oh no!" We took turns trying to figure out what was in the doghouse and took cookie bets on who was right. (none of us were) Finding out the "treasure" was family albums was refreshing. The author could have picked anything from a block of cheese, to furry slippers, but instead chose to make it something with meaning. After reading countless books with no meaning, it was refreshing to read one that can be used to teach and stress the importance of helping others. At the end, the boys even wanted to look through our albums to look at pictures. It's a nice day out, two friends are together, and they want to look at pictures. The books' message came through loud and clear. This is a definite winner for even the pickiest of readers.
angela09 More than 1 year ago
"Penny and Rio, The Mysterious Backyard Meeting", is a charming little story of two lovable dogs. Penny is always out looking for a new adventure while her sister Rio is always looking for a new place to nap. When they arrive at their new house, Penny discovers a group of local animals are holding secret meeting in her backyard. Determined to find out what these meetings are all about Penny discovers the perfect spot to spy. Finally she discovers that the cat, groundhog, squirrel, and owl are preparing to brake into their neighbor's house. Will Rio help Penny stop the animals or will she slumber through the entire thing? "Penny and Rio, The Mysterious Backyard Meeting is an adorable detective story that take young readers into a mystery. Jennifer Swanson has provided the perfect book for reader who are just starting out in chapter books. With a charming story that teach children to take responsibility you cannot go wrong with this book. The perfect story for young dog lovers. Reviewed on 09/21/2009 by ReviewTheBook.com Member Angela
carolsnotebook More than 1 year ago
Penny and Rio are on another case. Squeaky, a mouse, has a treasure. The problem is the treasure is in a locked dog house and Squeaky can't get in. With the help of a new friend, Penny and Rio find a solution. You'll have to read the book to find out what Squeaky's treasure is, though. This was cute. The dogs try several plans before they actually manage to get into the doghouse, emphasizing team work and perseverance. The importance of friends and family is also shown, with Penny and Rio realizing that even though they are different, being sisters is special. This is a good one to read aloud or for elementary readers just starting on short chapter books. It's why my daughter likes the book. She loves dogs and dogs that solve mysteries are even better.
janemaritz More than 1 year ago
Ever wonder why on earth your dog dug up the flowers? Or barked like mad to get out in the middle of the night? Or crawled under the fence? Or snuck into the neighbor's house? The Penny and Rio series just might have the answers for you as it delves into life from a dog's perspective. It's all part of your detective dog's mystery-solving duties, of course... In the book Penny & Rio: The Mysterious Backyard Meeting, you'll meet two completely opposite canines. Penny uncovers a plot by a cat, an owl, a groundhog, and a squirrel to break into the neighbor's house. And of course, it's up to her to guard the neighborhood and foil the plot, while "good man" buddy Rio lazily sleeps on. I'll stop right there so I don't spoil the mystery for you... The Author In addition to being owner to real-life Penny and Rio, Jennifer Swanson has three children. You can find her "ferrying her kids to soccer practice or games, studying hard for her Masters in Education class, relaxing with her husband or most importantly, hard at work on a new mystery for the intrepid Penny and Rio to solve. Jennifer has also recently become a middle school science instructor for John Hopkin University's Center for Talented Youth." She is committed to helping animals and has taught her kids the same values. Our Review If you are looking for an introductory chapter book for a toddler, then I highly recommend this one. It has colorful, fun illustrations on every other page or so that kept 2-year-old Esmé's attention as I read through the book. Since it was the first chapter book I've really attempted reading to her, my expectations weren't too high, but when I tried to put the book away after one chapter, she insisted on continuing! We made it through all five chapters (42 pages) in two sittings. The book is actually intended for an older audience, maybe up to age 9 or so. The story line was pretty basic with a fairly simple vocabulary. It was fun introducing Esmé to the concept that each of the different animals not only had its animal name (cat, owl), but also a personalized name (Buster, Feathers) - since she is so into arguing about what to call things these days. ("I not Esmé, I girl!" or "That's not Mommy, that's Jane!") She enjoyed describing what was happening in the pictures after I had read about it: "That flower broken! That dog make flowers broken!" If you're looking for a lesson from the book, it might be that you shouldn't jump to conclusions or make quick judgments of others, because things aren't always what they appear to be. (Though you might want to explain that it was still wrong for Penny to dig up the flowers or dig under the fence, even though she had a perfectly good reason for doing so.) Overall, a cute sweet read based on real-life dogs that my little girl enjoyed very much. For more information on this and upcoming Penny & Rio books (and coloring pages to go with the book, too!), visit Penny & Rio's website (www.pennyandrio.com)...
BevE More than 1 year ago
Penny and Rio The Mysterious Backyard Meeting is an Early Reader Chapter Book for ages 5 to 12 years old. Penny is a curious pooch with energy to spare but Rio loves her naps. Penny just can't persuade her to join in on the fun and explore their new backyard. Later that night she discovers that four intruders; Buster the cat, Shadow the groundhog, Nutty the squirrel and Feathers the owl, are using her yard for a meeting. What are they up to? Penny is sure to find out with or without Rio's help. She spys on the four and discovers their plan to break into the house next door. The plot thickens as Penny plans to save the day and stop them. What will happen? And what do these four critters want inside of Penny's neighbor's home? Will Rio help her stop them in time? Jennifer Swanson is the author of this lovable children's book and is dedicated in helping animals. She is donating a portion of this book's proceeds to a local Jacksonville, Florida pet organization; G.R.E.A.T. Rescue, which rescues and rehabilitates golden retrievers, placing them in permanent homes. Jennifer has also teamed up with Pawsitive Pets, one of their local organizations that brings dogs and kids together in schools to help children learn to read.
MomsChoiceAwards More than 1 year ago
Penny and Rio: The Mysterious Backyard Meeting is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom's Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS's Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; and Tara Paterson, Certified Parent Coach and founder of the Mom's Choice Awards. Parents and educators look for the Mom's Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My kids just loved this book! The dogs are funny and very inventive when solving their mystery. The pictures are very colorful, too. And the ending was a big surprise. My family can't wait to read the next book!